Occupy Movement Hopes for New Lease on Life


Those who expect more after only a few months haven't understood the Occupy principle. They need more time.

Erik Buhn eats a large plate of french fries in the Opera House cafeteria before putting on his hat and walking back to the tent camp. He wants to return to the university soon, and he hopes to attend classes two days a week, he says. He is taking a wait-and-see approach when it comes to Occupy. The world will not change if only a few people still want to participate in Occupy events. The freedom that Buhn liked so much about Occupy at first is also its biggest problem, because it makes the movement a bit arbitrary, something for people who don't like to pin themselves down. It's very contemporary, and also very moody.

Time to Harvest

When Buhn returns to the tent camp, for the second time on this day, twilight has descended on the tents, and now two dozen people are sitting on benches and old upholstered chairs on the mound behind the euro symbol sculpture. They're not drunk and no one is shouting. Instead, they are watching a screen. It's video night at Occupy.

A woman is watering the primroses that are growing in donated soil in boxes. "You can already harvest the chives," she says. A man plays the guitar while images of New York move across the screen.

The images are of Occupy Wall Street and Zuccotti Park. The trees are still green and people are wearing T-shirts. Their faces are glowing. That was how it all began last September, which isn't even that long ago. The people in Frankfurt, who have survived the winter and are now looking forward to May, hope it could happen again.

Whenever people ask him questions about Occupy and what he still wants here, Buhn turns around and asks them his own question: What would have to happen to make you spend one night here?"

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

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